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  • Series Premiere Date: May 11, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
Penny Dreadful Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 262 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In Victorian London, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), and American Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) encounter Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and Mina Harker (Olivia Llewellyn) in this psychosexual horror series created by John Logan.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    May 12, 2014
    100
    What makes Penny click is the chemistry among the characters, especially the psychic and the gunslinger, who end up seducing the viewer with their seductive encounters. They make you forget this is an action show
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    May 7, 2014
    83
    This John Logan creation promises an intriguing summer pastime, for an eight-week run anyway.
  3. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    May 9, 2014
    80
    Penny Dreadful is a smart, self-referential Dracula vs. the Wolf-Man vs. Frankenstein concept delivering the scares, chills and laughs that summer TV needs.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 7, 2014
    75
    It's a Frankenstory made with borrowed bits and recycled parts that could evolve into its own vibrant creation.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 9, 2014
    70
    There’s style, B-movie charm, and a few great performances to be found in the bloody heart of Penny Dreadful.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    May 8, 2014
    70
    The production and period values are outstanding, as is the cast, especially Timothy Dalton as famed African explorer Sir Malcolm Murray.... As creator John Logan moves away from the horror by the Thames and more toward the internal demons that haunt his protagonists, Penny veers toward the overwritten and overwrought. But by then, you may well be in for a pound.
  7. Reviewed by: Lily Moayeri
    May 9, 2014
    40
    Overall, it took Once Upon a Time a season to fall flat; Penny Dreadful does that immediately.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
  1. May 27, 2015
    10
    Excepcional! La ambientación, la fotografía, el ritmo. Realmente impecables. Las interpretaciones son, sin excepción, perfectas y, en algunosExcepcional! La ambientación, la fotografía, el ritmo. Realmente impecables. Las interpretaciones son, sin excepción, perfectas y, en algunos casos, impresionantes. Eva Green y Rory Kinnear, quizás por el "peso" de sus papeles son realmente extraordinarios. Expand
  2. May 19, 2014
    10
    The cynic in me is dead. Long live Penny Dreadful! I do not want to sound like I am giving you a lot of hyperbole but it's difficult not to. IThe cynic in me is dead. Long live Penny Dreadful! I do not want to sound like I am giving you a lot of hyperbole but it's difficult not to. I have not liked a show this much since I first discovered Dark Shadows when I was thirteen-years-old.

    Penny Dreadful begins with a slow burn pace but by the end of episode 2 everything had kicked into gear. I cannot put into words how well this show has taken my breath away. I would like to fully apologize for the doubts I had toward it upon seeing the early preview clips. I was utterly wrong. Nothing is what it seems and this show is the best Gothic Horror TV series I have seen in years.

    After dealing with the mediocre and pandering likes of Bitten and NBC's Dracula I had all but given up hope on my favorite genre of fiction but Penny Dreadful salvaged my faith in creativity.

    Penny dreadful is named for the 19th century slang term for a cheap pulp novel or serial such as Varney The Vampire or other Gothic classics that were originally often published in installments. Most of these works of literature dealt with terrifying and morbid premises and so were "dreadful" and obviously only cost a penny.

    The TV series Penny Dreadful pits the likes of Victor Frankenstein, his creation, the immortal Dorian Gray (from the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde) and the characters of Dracula all in the same late nineteenth century setting.

    The show has managed to surprise me already within it's first two episodes and it keeps me guessing.

    The show is well acted with impressive and realistic production values. It also bears detailed and clever writing. Subtle nods to other works of classic literature are scattered through out in delightful Easter Egg quotes and references. Also so far I have not caught a single glimpse of computer generated monster effects. No. Everything I have seen thus far has been done with skillful and realistic practical effects so that everything feels real and tactile. There is no cheap, cartoonish or watery CG to draw me out of the story.

    I cannot put into words how much I love this show and hope that the third episode continues to impress me as the first two have.
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  3. May 12, 2014
    10
    I watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all theI watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all the main characters and it will be fun to watch the various monsters and villains integrate in future episodes. As for the critics, most have it right; yet a few of them want to kill a promising series before it gets up and running. This is a fun TV series, the real horror show is going on in Washington, so if you want to vent negativity you should have more than ample material there if you, or you employer have the guts to cover it. Expand
  4. Jul 20, 2014
    9
    First couple of episodes were tremendous. Fast and shockingly scary moments. Nice, crisp acting and script.. I absolutely love this showFirst couple of episodes were tremendous. Fast and shockingly scary moments. Nice, crisp acting and script.. I absolutely love this show and I am looking forward to season 2. Expand
  5. Jul 10, 2014
    8
    For some reason i like this tv show, i can't say there is something extra special about it but still it has some kind of magic that mixFor some reason i like this tv show, i can't say there is something extra special about it but still it has some kind of magic that mix together few different plots and story's in something that revolves all the time. It's like an ice cream with pieces of chocolate, nut and something else and you try to figure what that is, well that is my opinion about Penny Dreadful. But let's continue, written by John Logan and directed by James Hawes, you might know John from his other works like Gladiator, The Time Machine, The Last Samurai, Rango, Skyfall…Serie involves some of well known icons that all have there story's and we all watched them, but now they all come together and show us their life that is sometime dark and sometime gray but never bright.

    Plot:

    Story take place in Victorian Britain, in time of Jack the Ripper's murder spree and fast growing industry. Sir Malcom(Timothy Dalton), hardened African explorer is on personal quest to right the wrongs of his past and in his journey he try's to pick special people that will help him. At the beginning of season one at his side is Vanessa Ives played by Eva Green, she is expert medium blessed with supernatural gifts. But her „gifts“ are also heavy burden that threaten to destroy her sanity and life. As episodes progress, they gather more special people around them and first to join was Ethan Chandler(Josh Hartnett) a gunman, on first sight charming and loved by girls but with time his dark side is getting more and more visible, he is running from something from his past and in last episode we discover he is actually warewolf. In most „group“ you need doctor and yup, they got him Dr. Victor Frankenstein(Harry Treadaway), and yes it's same one who created The Beast and in this plot also he is being hunted by creations or better to say creatures that he made with his own hands. Ok, he is not a bad guy, more like mad scientist that want to push limits of science and medicine.

    Now there are some other characters involved but for now not so close to this setup, in this journey trough story we meet also Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). He is mystery that is fascinated by other mystery's and somehow attracted to Vanessa and yes, if you ask there is love triangle…but i will let you check show, some spoilers need to be skipped here :D. I almost forgot one really hidden character and it is Van Helsing, he is also mixed in story. Penny Dreadful is not a horror or mystery its more like a psychological thriller with elements of horror, mystery, science, action.
    My thought's:

    From watching scenes there is one thing i noticed, all characters are trying to get most of situations they are in, with there acting they put much effort on facial expressions and reading thoughts/emotions from face and body language. I have feeling that each character interaction give me small key of information, usually not noticeable in some TV shows, and with time it shows more and more bigger image and explanation for plot.

    On global scale you could say they are league of extraordinary gentlemen, sound familiar? They meet lot of different beings some of them are demons, vampires, ghosts or just strange freaky people. Penny Dreadful got high scores with critics i also give it a good score and on scale 1-10 it would be 8 because sometime i get feeling plot has no straight way and it's more like dispersed.
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  6. May 30, 2014
    5
    So far this show has been all style and no substance. It's like a monsters greatest hits with Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, andSo far this show has been all style and no substance. It's like a monsters greatest hits with Frankenstein, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and Dorian Gray all getting tossed into the pot. There's no compelling story so far, no real reason to root for any of the characters, who are very flat and wooden. For a horror show it's not very scary, it's actually kind of dull. The recently cancelled Dracula on NBC had its issues, but it had some great character development, an interesting plot, and it was way more entertaining than this. I do like Billie Piper, I remember her from Secret Diaries of a Call Girl and she brings life to the show in her scenes. I'll keep watching for now, but they need to develop some decent story arcs. Expand
  7. May 16, 2014
    0
    Extremely boring and not thrilling or terrifying .Show is not scary enough maybe kids get scared ,They could have hire decent writer and anExtremely boring and not thrilling or terrifying .Show is not scary enough maybe kids get scared ,They could have hire decent writer and an editor with the money they have spent on Art direction.TV fans don't need this sort of show because there's too many successfull horror shows. Expand

See all 44 User Reviews

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